Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Monday, August 04, 2008

Game On: No New Energy

Nancy Pelosi has just handed the November election to the Republicans, if they have the stones to accept the gift.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday ruled out a vote on new offshore oil drilling even as Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said he might be open to a compromise that included it.

The scramble over expanded drilling off America's coasts — ammunition for a weekend of rat-a-tat-tat by the presidential campaigns — underscores the political power of $4-a-gallon gas. Though President Bush and other backers of new drilling acknowledge it wouldn't directly affect gas prices for years, they have pounded Democrats for opposing the measure, which is now supported by most Americans.

Do the Republicans want to win? Well, last Friday's demonstration showed promise. Let's see if there's some follow through.

We'll see. Supposedly a few Republican rebels are preparing to restart their demonstration.

Continuing with their guerilla tactics from last week, House Republicans will be back on the floor Monday to talk gas prices, even though Congress is in recess, and they may stay there all week.

More than a dozen Republicans have already committed to make appearances, according to House GOP leadership aide, including National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Tom Cole (Okla.).

Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) and Mike Pence (R-Ind.), who led Friday's five-hour talkathon after the House shut down for the August recess, are also expected to be there, according to this aide.

"In an urgent memo sent to GOP Members and staff Saturday (“A Call to Action on American Energy”), Republican Leader John Boehner (R-) and Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) hailed Friday’s action, and encouraged House Republicans to return to the Capitol beginning Monday morning to help keep the historic effort going," said a press release just released by Minority Leader Boehner's office.

This is a winning issue. If there is any one issue that clearly divides Democrats from Republicans on an issue that is of paramount importance to voters, it's energy policy. And Republicans are on the winning side on this issue. Americans favor new drilling by a 2-1 margin.

Update: Is it possible that some Republicans are getting it?

McCain supporters in Michigan will distribute tire gauges at Obama’s energy speech in Lansing.

The RNC will also deliver gauges reading “Obama’s energy plan” to Washington newsrooms.

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